Vision Zero – not a numerical goal but a mindset

Vision Zero Summit 2019 will be held in Helsinki on 12-14 November. It will welcome experts, researchers and company representatives from over 30 countries to discuss and gather new ideas on Vision Zero thinking in health and safety strategies and practices. Vision Zero is a strategy and a holistic mindset. It is more than just a numerical goal: it means continuous improvement of safety, health, and wellbeing at work. The Summit is organized by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) with the support of its partners. At the Summit also the Global Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health, established on Finland's initiative, will be launched. The Summit, is also a side event of Finland’s EU presidency.

Vision Zero Summit 12.-14.11.2019, Helsinki, press release 50/2019

In the Helsinki summit, we aim to focus on discussing the different aspects of Vision Zero and to take Vision Zero thinking and actions to the next level. We will encourage the participants to share best practices and lessons learned, says Mr. Tommi Alanko, Director of the Occupational Safety Unit at FIOH.

The Vision Zero Fund – shared responsibility for safer supply chains

The Vision Zero concept is widely spread all over the world. In order to share responsibility and improve safety in global supply chains a Vision Zero Fund has been established. The Fund is administered by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The fund is currently enabling garment/textiles and agriculture projects in Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Lao PDR.

Japan’s successful implemention of Vision Zero thinking

Japan began a Zero Accident Campaign already in 1973. This campaign and its activities have become major and practical occupational safety and health (OSH) activities in almost all Japanese industries from large companies such as Toyota, Honda, Hitachi and Panasonic to small-size enterprises.
The number of fatal accidents has decreased from 6000 to less than 1000 and the number of other work-related accidents has also fallen in Japanese manufacturing companies   - now being as low as 2.2
– We now aim to take Vision Zero thinking to the next level to the ISO 45001 and JIS 45100 standards and the so called Safety Concept 2.0, says Mr. Takeo Hayaki from the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISH).

Finland’s the Vision Zero Forum puts the Vision Zero thinking into practice

The Finnish Zero Accident Forum – now the Finnish Vision Zero Forum – was founded in 2003 to help workplaces in promote safety and health. The Forum is a voluntary network and it is open to any workplace. Membership requires a shared commitment to vision zero. A total of 440 workplaces employing 450 000 people (16% of the work force) now belong to the Forum.

The Finnish Vision Zero Forum team has identified three different levels among member workplaces: 1) Workplaces that need to develop and exploit the basic OSH good practices, 2) Workplaces that need help to move to the next OSH level and 3) Front runners who are willing to learn from the most recent research and innovations.

–In the future we aim to develop the Vision Zero Forum together with the member workplaces, through a service design way of thinking. Using different services and networking, we want to be able to support all different member workplaces, regardless of their level of development, stresses Tiina-Mari Monni, Product Manager from FIOH.

 Indicators needed for the seven golden rules of Vision Zero

Although Vision Zero has long been used in business, it still lacks leading indicators to facilitate benchmarking and mutual learning among participating organizations.

– We have gone through 86 recent publications, received input from over 30 companies from 13 countries and four continents. We have ended up with the following draft list of leading indicators, explains Dr. Gerard Zwetsloot from the Netherlands and Dr. Pete Kines from Denmark.

– It will be interesting to see what the participants of the Vision Zero Summit think of these leading indicators.

The Seven Golden Rules for Vision Zero set up by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and corresponding draft set of indicators created by Gerard Zwetsloot and Pete Kines.

Seven golden rules by ISSA Draft set of leading indicators for Vision Zero (pilot)
1. Take leadership – demonstrate commitment Frequency of Pre-work Safety, Health, and Well-being (SHW) briefings
2. Identify hazards – control risks Percent of evaluations after SHW risk assessments and actions
3. Define targets – develop programmes Percent of inductions in which SHW are integrated part of the process
4. Ensure a safe and healthy system – be well-organized Number of leading SHW Key Performance Indicators
 5. Ensure safety and health in machines, equipment and workplaces Percent of innovations and changes used to reduce SHW hazards and risks in the design stage
6. Improve qualifications – develop competence Percent of leaders and workers trained in SHW before they start their job
7. Invest in people – motivate by participation Percent of adequate follow-ups on suggestions for SHW improvements


Additional information:

Tommi Alanko, Director, FIOH, tommi.alanko[at], tel. +358 40 719 2521 @tpalanko
Kristina Kulha, Communications Specialist,FIOH, kristiina.kulha[at], tel. +358 40 548 6914 @krissekulha  #visionzero

See also Press release of the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 11 Nov 2019
New global occupational safety and health coalition will be launched

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